Town of Verona, NY
Oneida County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Verona 3-5-1979 (Ch. 83 of the 1998 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 121.
This chapter shall be known as the "Unsafe Building Ordinance."
The provisions of this chapter shall be in addition to, and in furtherance of, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, including but not limited to Sections 108 and 109 of the International Property Maintenance Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Unsafe buildings are those:
A. 
Whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that the same would be unacceptable in a new structure of similar type and design, being in contravention of established construction principals, and there exists a possibility of collapse of the building or structure or any portion thereof.
B. 
Which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more, of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
C. 
Which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
D. 
Which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Town of Verona.
E. 
Which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
F. 
Having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
G. 
Having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of escape.
H. 
Which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Town.
J. 
Buildings existing in violation of any provision of any other ordinance of the Town of Verona or laws of the State of New York.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Enforcement Officer and Town Board in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
A. 
If the unsafe building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the unsafe building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case where an unsafe building is so damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure so that it can not be economically restored, it shall be demolished, and in all cases where a building can not be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter it shall be demolished. In all cases where an unsafe building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any provisions of any other ordinance or laws of the State of New York, it shall be demolished.
All unsafe buildings within the terms of § 114-3 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Enforcement Officer shall:
A. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter, and report his findings at least annually to the Town Board or more frequently as requested by the Town Board.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire Departments or police officers operating in this Town as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
C. 
Notify personally or in writing the owner or some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner of some one of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, of any building found by him to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 114-3 of this chapter.
(1) 
The owner must vacate or repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
(3) 
Any mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building may at his own risk, repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done; provided, that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, as determined or specified by the Enforcement Officer, as may be necessary to do, or have done, the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
D. 
Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection C hereof, a description of the building, or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure an unsafe building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time as determined or specified by the Enforcement Officer.
E. 
Report to the Town Board any noncompliance with the notice provided for in Subsections C and D hereof.
F. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Town Board, and testify as to the condition of unsafe buildings.
G. 
Place a notice on all unsafe buildings reading as follows: "This building has been found to be an unsafe building by this Enforcement Officer. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other persons having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, of any building found by me to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 114-3 of the ordinance of the Town of Verona entitled "Unsafe Buildings." It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
H. 
Issue a certificate of compliance and file a copy with the Town Clerk, upon compliance with the terms of the notice provided for in Subsections C and D hereof.
A. 
Written notice to owner or lessees. Upon receipt of a report of the Enforcement Officer as provided for in Subsection E of § 114-6E hereof, give written notice to the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property, by registered mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or other person having a vested or contingent interest in the same, as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, of any building found by him to be an unsafe building within the standards set forth in § 114-3 of this chapter, to appear before them on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be an unsafe building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Enforcement Officer's notice provided for herein in Subsection C and D of § 114-6 hereof.
B. 
Hold hearings. Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Enforcement Officer or the owner or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk shall offer relative to the unsafe building.
C. 
Written findings of fact. Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B as to whether or not the building in question is an unsafe building within the terms of § 114-3 hereof.
D. 
Issue order based on findings of fact. Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C commanding the owner, or someone of the owner's executors, legal representatives, agents, lessees or any other person having a vested or contingent interest in the property as shown by the records of the Assessor or in the office of the County Clerk, to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be an unsafe building within the terms of this chapter and provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of either vacating or repairing said unsafe building, or any person not the owner of said unsafe building but having an interest in said building may demolish said unsafe building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which said unsafe building stands by the Town as provided in Subsection B hereof.
E. 
Cause building to be repaired. If such person fails to comply with the order provided for in Subsection D hereof, within 10 days, the Town Board shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant, under the standards hereinbefore provided for in § 114-4 of this chapter and shall with the assistance of the Town Attorney cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien, or cause such costs to be added to the tax rolls as an assessment, or to be levied as a special tax against the land upon which the building stands or did stand, or to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner, provided that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Town, the Enforcement Officer shall notify the Town Attorney to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.
F. 
Report names not complying to Town Attorney. Report to the Town Attorney the names of all persons not complying with the order provided for in Subsection C and D of § 114-6 hereof.
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless an unsafe building as defined herein is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Enforcement Officer shall report such facts to the Town Board and the Town Board shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such unsafe building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in Subsection E of § 114-7.
In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant or lessee is absent from the Town, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by registered mail to the party in interest as described in Subsection C of § 114-6 to the last known address of such party in interest, and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the unsafe building to which it relates. Such mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
No officer, agent or employee of the Town of Verona shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Town of Verona as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter shall be defended by the Town Attorney until the final determination of the proceeding therein.
Any fireman of any Town Fire Department serving in the Town shall make a report, in writing, to the Enforcement Officer of any building or structures which are, may be, or are suspected to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Enforcement Officer within 24 hours of the discovery of such buildings.
Any law enforcement official shall make a report, in writing, to the Enforcement Officer of any buildings or structures which are or may be deemed to be unsafe buildings within the terms of this chapter. Such reports must be delivered to the Enforcement Officer within 24 hours of the discovery of such buildings.
Pursuant to Subdivision 1(ii)d(3) of § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the provisions of this chapter shall supersede Subdivision 16 of § 130 of the Town Law.
A. 
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense.
B. 
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 15 days in jail, or both.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of any zoning, building, fire, safety or health ordinance or code of the Town of Verona existing on the effective date of this chapter, the provisions which in the judgment of the Town Board establishes the higher standard for the promotion of health and safety of the people shall prevail.